Do You Really Have a People Development Culture?

articles leadership Aug 12, 2022

When actual human development happens, something gets unleashed in the workforce, surpassing what any training program could achieve. But unfortunately, the problem in corporate culture is that Training and Development get collapsed. 

We rarely look at their definitions.  As a result, “Training and Development” has become a corporate “good intention” and slogan.

Ask most businesses what they do for training and development, and they can tell you what they do: orientations, manuals, web-based modules, one on one’s, in-the-house sessions, out-of-house sessions, etc. So there is a lot of People Training going on – but what gets missed is that there is very little People Development happening.

Let’s look at how the dictionary defines these terms:

  • Train - to teach a particular skill or behavior through practice over time.  
  • Develop - to grow or cause to grow and become more mature or advanced.  

The key difference here is Teach vs. Grow. Let’s look at these words defined:

  • Teach - to show or explain to someone how to do something.
  • Grow - to undergo natural development by increasing in size and changing physically.

We can use the following simple definitions to distinguish Training from Development.        

Training is show and tell. Development allows for natural expansion.

People Training comes first in corporate culture today because it “needs to be done” to get the job done.

Managers fall into the default mode that comes with traditional “show and tell” or “do it my way” leadership skills. 

We are training people out of their creativity and self-expression, instilling mechanical behavior, and ensuring people stay within the boundaries and do it the “right” way.

Conversely, People Development takes real thinking. 

Training someone without the context of People Development is like the proverbial giving them a fish, so they eat for today. Development has them eat for a lifetime.

A culture of People Development is fresh, ongoing, new, and exciting. Therefore, it has to be evolving. Why? Because it is forever expanding naturally.

You have no development if your culture discourages open communication or new ideas. 

Do you know what happens to a muscle when it’s not developed? 

It withers and dies. Is this your organizational culture?

We can assess what is needed when we view culture through People Training and Development. 

Both are vital to the success of a healthy workplace.

People Development is complex and takes a different muscle to exercise.

The challenge for a People Training weighted culture is addressing where development is missing with senior leaders. You must start at the top and commit to distinguishing development from training. Tell the truth where it is missing.

To support a culture of People Development requires championing it in the organization over time and building your training systems and initiatives inside this commitment.

Genuine People Development has your workforce expanding at the personal level so that it can expand at the organizational level. 

It requires being bold in your commitment that People Development is a priority. 

The world needs more workplaces to expand human potential instead of keeping it in a box.

Take a look and find some areas of your business where the spirit People Development could make a difference to your success.

Find more resources on leading your team to success here.

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